P5.26-M smuggled cigarettes seized

ZAMBOANGA CITY — A fresh haul of smuggled cigarettes were recorded by authorities in the city last week when they intercepted in this city and in Sibugay province the transportation of 117 master cases of assorted brands of imported cigarettes worth P5.265 million.

Bureau of Customs Zamboanga City district collector Segundo Barte Jr. revealed that the operation was part of the agency’s commitment in intensifying efforts to prevent the entry of illegal shipments in the country.

Barte said that the first haul was in Tungawan, Sibugay province, when police acted on a tip on Tuesday from a concerned citizen that a mini cargo truck carrying imported cigarettes will pass the national highways of the town.

Elements of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 9 and the Tungawan Municipal Station were immediately placed on alert at the checkpoint in Barangay Baluran.

The police were able to intercept a mini truck loaded with 85 master cases of imported cigarettes worth P3.825 million based on a prevailing market distribution sale at P45,000 per master case.

The cigarettes carry the most famous brands of smokes like Cannon, Fort, Champion, San Marino, Tradition, Casa Blanca and Absolute Famous.

Police also placed under investigation Ian Joven Cabreros, the truck driver, and his two companions, Abdel Khaliq Ong and Francho Gonzales.

Meantime, a minivan was also intercepted after it was discovered that it was carrying 32 master cases of imported cigarettes worth P1.44 million along Barangay Sinunuc in this city on Thursday.

The driver Benhar Gani Tunggal and his aid Aldimar Ismula Idjan were placed under investigation.

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